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Examination of differential ratings of perceived exertion (dRPE) during bio-banded small-sided games

Barrett, Steve; Short, Kieran; Lowthorpe, Alex; Swinton, Paul; Maughan, Patrick; Hamilton, Ally; Hunter, Frances; Towlson, Chris


Steve Barrett

Kieran Short

Alex Lowthorpe

Paul Swinton

Patrick Maughan

Ally Hamilton

Frances Hunter


The aims of the current study were to investigate the use of dRPE with academy soccer players to: 1) examine the effect of bio-banded and non-bio-banded maturity groups within SSG on players dRPE; 2) describe the multivariate relationships between dRPE measures investigating the sources of intra and inter-individual variation, and the effects of maturation and bio-banding. Using 32 highly trained under (U) 12 to U14 soccer players (mean (SD) age 12.9 (0.9) years, body mass 46.4 (8.5) kg and stature 158.2 (14.9) cm) academy soccer players from two English professional male soccer academies. Players were categorised according to somatic maturity status using estimated percentage of adult stature attainment, with players randomly assigned into teams to play 4v4 SSG. The study used a repeated measures design, whereby the selected players participated within 6 bio-banded (maturity matched [pre-PHV Vs pre-PHV and post-PHV vs post PHV] and miss-matched [pre-PHV vs post-PHV] and 6 mixed maturity SSG at their respective clubs. Using mixed and fixed effect regression models, it was established hat pre-PHV players exhibited higher dRPE compared with their post-PHV counterparts. Mixed bio-banded games reported higher dRPE outputs overall. Variation in dRPE measures across a series of bio-banded games are caused by both between and within sources of variation in relatively equal amounts. Across a series of bio-banded games, the four dRPE measures do not provide unique information, and between variation is best expressed by one or two highly correlated components, with within variation best explained by a single equally loaded component. Using a bio-banding SSG design study, we have shown that pre-PHV players report higher subjective measures of exertion than post-PHV players during. Additionally, when evenly mixing players based on measures of maturation, higher measures of perceived exertion were generally reported.


Barrett, S., Short, K., Lowthorpe, A., Swinton, P., Maughan, P., Hamilton, A., Hunter, F., & Towlson, C. (2022). Examination of differential ratings of perceived exertion (dRPE) during bio-banded small-sided games. PLoS ONE, 17(7), Article e0270259.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 9, 2022
Online Publication Date Jul 29, 2022
Publication Date Jul 1, 2022
Deposit Date Jul 1, 2022
Publicly Available Date Aug 3, 2022
Journal PLoS ONE
Print ISSN 1932-6203
Publisher Public Library of Science
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 17
Issue 7
Article Number e0270259
Public URL
Publisher URL


Published article (612 Kb)

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Copyright Statement
Copyright: © 2022 Barrett et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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